Pope St. Pius V established this feast in 1573. The purpose was to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto—a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716.
The development of the rosary has a long history. First, a practice developed of praying 150 Our Fathers in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Then there was a parallel practice of praying 150 Hail Marys. Soon a mystery of Jesus’ life was attached to each Hail Mary. Though Mary’s giving the rosary to St. Dominic is recognized as unhistorical, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of St. Dominic. One of them, Alan de la Roche, was known as “the apostle of the rosary.” He founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century. In the 16th century the rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries (joyful, sorrowful and glorious). In 2002, Pope John Paul II added the Mysteries of Light to this devotion.
The purpose of the rosary is to help us meditate on the great mysteries of our salvation. Pius XII called it a compendium of the gospel. The main focus is on Jesus—his birth, life, death and resurrection. The Our Fathers remind us that Jesus’ Father is the initiator of salvation. The Hail Marys remind us to join with Mary in contemplating these mysteries. They also make us aware that Mary was and is intimately joined with her Son in all the mysteries of his earthly and heavenly existence. The Glorys remind us that the purpose of all life is the glory of the Trinity.
The rosary appeals to many. It is simple. The constant repetition of words helps create an atmosphere in which to contemplate the mysteries of God. We sense that Jesus and Mary are with us in the joys and sorrows of life. We grow in hope that God will bring us to share in the glory of Jesus and Mary forever.
“[The rosary] sets forth the mystery of Christ in the very way in which it is seen by St. Paul in the celebrated ‘hymn’ of the Epistle to the Philippians—kenosis [self-emptying], death and exaltation (2:6-11)…. By its nature the recitation of the rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord’s life as grasped by the heart of her who was closer to the Lord than all others” (Paul VI, Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, 45, 47
~ Excerpt from AmericanCatholic.org
As I was reading this, in the first sentence actually, I had a very clear vision of my Mamá Lola. I have shared with you so much about her already, but believe me, it can’t even begin to describe her. 😉
One day I’ll dedicate an entire Post just towards her. THEN, perhaps I’ll begin to do her justice.
But I digress, the vision that I had of her was during one of the Viajes (Trips) that we took with her when we were much younger.
You see, my Mamá Lola has always enjoyed traveling. Adventuring. Getting to see, experience and learn about new things, and people. The thing we learned from her, one of the many, in regards to traveling in this case, is that the more you learn and the more you think things will be “different” the truth is, you realize and get to experience First hand, that we really and truly are the same!
The Human Condition does not change. Our packaging may be different, but inside, where it counts, where our Immortal Soul resides, there, we are all the same. We are Sinful, Fallen Creatures that have the ability to Love, to Serve, to be Compassionate, Merciful, Charitable, Patient and Kind. But above all that we all have the CHOICE, the Free Will to be any and all of these.
And again I digress.
During any of our viajes, the same thing would happen. We’d all be settled in our seats, leaving Teuchitlán, barely passing El Refugio, turning onto the Carretera towards Guadalajara, smelling the Sugar Cane Refinery as we travel alongside the Ingenio de Tala. The hum of the bus engine starting to soothe you and settle down your excitement and stress from having had to load the bus luggage compartments with all your luggage. The stress and anxiety from packing, wanting to ensure that you didn’t forget anything finally drifting away when you’d hear her voice…
“Vamos a rezar un Rosario para que Nuestro Señor nos cuide y proteja en nuestro camino; para que Nuestra Madre, la Virgen de Guadalupe, nos libre de todo peligro.” Let us pray the Rosary so that our Lord will protect us on our journey; that our Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, will free us from all dangers.
We’d all turn around to see her standing in the walkway, in the center of the bus, holding her beads – one of the many, many, many Rosaries that she owns 🙂 – swaying back and forth to try and keep her balance as the bus trudged forward to one of our many destinations.
If you’d listen closely, you could hear the moans and groans. But NOT just from her Grandchildren!
She’d start us off, “En el nombre del Padre, del Hijo, del Espiritu Santo (In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit)”…
Then at about the beginning of the second decade, sometimes even towards the end of the First decade, she’d start mumbling, her eyelids would begin their fight to not come together, and we all would watch her with the intensity of a Magician at the fair trying to hypnotize you and control your actions for the amusement of the crowds and money in his pocket.
The collective Prayers would become audibly lower, the humming of the bus deafeningly louder, the swaying motion rocking her back and forth, back and forth…until finally silence and grins could be found on all the passengers of the lumbering, lulling bus.
When we’d hit a pothole or other unfortunate road hazard that would awaken her, we, on cue – as if an Orchestra Conductor had just moments before tapped his baton – would begin to pray a Hail Mary as if we had never stopped. She would continue for a second then ask one of us where we were.
We, of course, were exceedingly honest and tell her we were already on the FIFTH decade, the Final Hail Mary. She would nod in recognition and continue.
It was not long until once again, the droning sent her into Morpheus’ warm and tender loving arms. Once again, the smiles contained within the humming, metal bed on wheels radiated and vacuumed up all sound.
We would give her a minute or two, then one of us, her Gracious Grandchildren, would tap her shoulder gently, so as to not drag her from her Lover’s Comforting arms too abruptly, and let her know gently that we were done. 😳
Mind you, it didn’t always work. There were times that she’d give us this look, and she would begin us with other Prayers to ensure we had a Safe Trip. She was determined.
I Miss my Mamá Lola. We all owe her so much.
As my Family and I head out, we also Pray. Not the entire Rosary, I’ll confess, but a few quick Prayers. I expect that in a Decade or so I too will begin my own Rosary Adventures when we head out on an Adventure, even if it’s just to the Store 😉